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Comprehensive analysis of preeclampsia-associated DNA methylation in the placenta

Comprehensive analysis of preeclampsia-associated DNA methylation in the placenta

Plos one 9(9): E107318

A small number of recent reports have suggested that altered placental DNA methylation may be associated with early onset preeclampsia. It is important that further studies be undertaken to confirm and develop these findings. We therefore undertook a systematic analysis of DNA methylation patterns in placental tissue from 24 women with preeclampsia and 24 with uncomplicated pregnancy outcome. We analyzed the DNA methylation status of approximately 27,000 CpG sites in placental tissues in a massively parallel fashion using an oligonucleotide microarray. Follow up analysis of DNA methylation at specific CpG loci was performed using the Epityper MassArray approach and high-throughput bisulfite sequencing. Preeclampsia-specific DNA methylation changes were identified in placental tissue samples irrespective of gestational age of delivery. In addition, we identified a group of CpG sites within specific gene sequences that were only altered in early onset-preeclampsia (EOPET) although these DNA methylation changes did not correlate with altered mRNA transcription. We found evidence that fetal gender influences DNA methylation at autosomal loci but could find no clear association between DNA methylation and gestational age. Preeclampsia is associated with altered placental DNA methylation. Fetal gender should be carefully considered during the design of future studies in which placental DNA is analyzed at the level of DNA methylation. Further large-scale analyses of preeclampsia-associated DNA methylation are necessary.

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Accession: 052269854

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PMID: 25247495

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107318

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